Featured Author Event: Dani Shapiro (Washington, DC)

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Colleagues in the vicinity of Washington, DC take note: New York Times bestselling author Dani Shapiro will be discussing her new book, INHERITANCE: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love, published by Alfred A. Knopf, on Monday, January 21, at Politics & Prose. Shapiro will be in conversation with journalist Jennifer Mendelsohn, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Slate. This free, one-hour event begins at 7:00 p.m.

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. With this news, her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.

Her book, INHERITANCE, is about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences we discover.

Dani Shapiro is also the author of the memoirs HOURGLASS, STILL WRITING, DEVOTION, and SLOW MOTION as well as five novels, including BLACK & WHITE and FAMILY HISTORY. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.


Posted: January 18, 2019